Wheelie Bin Storage Sheds

wheelie binAs summer approaches we will find our selves spending more and more time in our gardens. If you’re keen gardener like me you have probably invested a lot of your time and money in creating a wonderful place for you, your family and friends can relax and enjoy the best of the British weather.

No matter how much time or money that we put in to our garden there are some things that will always let your garden down. One of these let downs are your wheelie bins. Every household has at least three wheelie bins, coming in various colours and sizes depending on where you live and the number of people living in your house. No matter what colour the bins are where you live, you cant get away from the fact that they look hideous and make a beautiful garden or patio area look rubbish (pardon the pun).

Over the last few years there has been a boom in sales of wheelie bin storage boxes, which can …

Dealing with Garden Waste

How to deal with garden waste

During the summer most gardeners will be adding to their compost bins leaving them with a lovely crumbly compost to put on their flower beds in autumn. Composting is a beautiful simple system that puts back what we take out of the earth. However not all waste is simple or can be simply put into your compost bin.

Garden waste such as roots of couch grass and bindweed cannot simply be put into your compost bin and not everyone has the means to dispose of this properly, such as a wood chipper. So what do you do? Put it in your green council waste bin? Burn it on a bonfire or stack it up and take it to the tip? Well, you can do all these things but if you want to be green and put the nutrients from this waste back into the earth, they are not the answer.

The simple answer is to drown them, yes take your perennial weeds, couch grass, bind weed and put it all in a bin full of water! Eventually this will rot down into a compostable mulch. This you …

Hanging Baskets – Great for gardens with limited space

Hanging baskets are the ideal way to provide some colour and beauty at eye level. They can be bought to hang on walls, kind of a half-moon shape or hung on hooks, a full moon shape.

What you plant on them will depend on what you are looking to achieve. For example if you want a long term basket you should use herbs, shrubs and evergreens. Alternatively a short term basket should contain vibrant bedding plants such as creeping jenny, silver falls, fuchsias, lobelias, violas, petunias in summer and crocus, iris, ivy, primulas, cyclamen and violas in winter.

Baskets for summer should be planted from April onwards but will need frost protection until the end of May. Winter baskets which do not need protection as the plants are hardier should be done between September and October.

How they should be planted will depend on what type of basket you have bought. Standard wire baskets for example require a lining which you can buy readymade. A more thrifty option would be to line them with moss. This method can also be more attractive and natural looking.

Multi-purpose composts are usually sufficient for most baskets as …

Rattan Planters – Visually improves any garden

This is a fantastic time of the year to be picking up garden bargains, as most companies will be selling their summer stock off at knocked down prices. This means you can pick some fantastic bargains up ready for next summer!

One of the easiest ways to improve the look of your garden, patio or decking area is to include some bright strong scented flowers that will attract butterflies and other nature to your garden. If you don’t have a rockery or planting area worry not, there has been a massive increase in the amount of planters on the market over the last several years. This means you can literally pick up a bargain and create a beautiful planting area without having to do too much work.

With planters coming in all shapes, sizes and materials there is something for everyone. And if you are feeling creative there are loads (AND I MEAN LOADS) of ideas on the Internet for you to create your own planters out of brick, breezeblock or even wood. I’ve made some fantastic planters out of decking wood lately and they look pretty amazing, even if I do …

Growing Mushrooms

Growing Mushrooms

Mushrooms are typically grown indoors and not in the garden quite often using mushroom growing kits. It is however possible to grow mushrooms with your own set up in your own area.

First you need to pick a mushroom to grow, popular choices being shiitake, oyster and white button. First you will need to buy spore or spawn of your chosen mushroom from a reputable dealer. Think of these spore as seeds and spawn as seedlings. Spawn is easier to grow than spore and this may be the best thing to start with for a beginner.

Mushrooms require a cool, dark place to grow that is also damp but first you should place your growing medium in a pan and raise the temperature to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Heating pads work well for this. After the temperature has been reached you should then move your spawn onto the growing medium for your particular mushroom. This could be hardwood, sawdust straw or composted manure. Place the mushroom spawn back on to the heating pad but drop the temperature to about 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next you should cover the spawn with an inch or …

Garden Gazebos

Garden gazebos are tent like garden features that can be constructed of wood, rattan, metal and plastic. You can buy them from garden centres, hardware stores, online stores and they come in various sizes, styles and materials.

Gazebo is a flippant translation from the Latin ‘I will gaze’ and is used to describe a building or structure from which one may enjoy a view over the garden. The original gazebos required an elevated position in order to achieve ‘proper gazing’ and became known as buildings that were placed on natural vantage points. Nowadays of course gazebos are not necessarily placed on a vantage point, nor are they always used for viewing.

Gazebos became especially popular in Elizabethan times when they were used to show off splendid private enclosed gardens to their friends. The buildings themselves were also created to be ornate and show worthy in their own right.

Many public parks have gazebos although they are more commonly known as bandstands due to bands playing there. They are however essentially gazebos and have been used as a place to entertain and banquet for centuries.

Nowadays gazebos, especially those that can be transported are more …

Growing Tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes

Growing tomatoes from seed is easy and there is a huge range of varieties out there to choose from which can be grown indoors and outdoors, in containers and hanging baskets. Their only real requirements are heat, sun, food and water to produce sweet and juicy fruits.

When sowing seeds start by filling pots with compost and water then scatter seeds thinly and cover with a thin layer of vermiculite. Label your pots and then place them on a windowsill to germinate. You should see results within two weeks when seedlings will appear and by eight weeks they should be large enough to repot.

When repotting hold the seedlings by the leaves and gently lever them upwards. Make a hole in the new pot, fill with compost and gently lower the plant into the pot. Firm the plant down making sure the roots are covered and the plant is watered. When roots come through the pots move them into bigger ones.

When the first branch of flowers appear on your plants it is time to replant them into grow bags. You should prepare the grow bags by shaking them up and kneading …

Growing Strawberries

Growing Strawberries

As well as being easy to maintain strawberries take up hardly any room, produce beautiful flowers and of course give us delicious fruit to enjoy. They can be grown in a wide variety of soils from light sand to heavy clay and can be planted outdoors from late June to September.

Strawberry plants can produce fruit for five to six years although the amount of fruit produced will start to decline after two years. At this point pests and disease risks will also heighten and become more likely. For these reasons it is probably best to replace them every two to three years.

When planting them prepare the soil by digging over and adding manure then placing the plants every 35cm apart in rows around 75cm apart. Ensure you plant them with the crown at soil level and water well. Next place a net over the plants so that the birds cannot get to the fruit, which they would love to do. Pick the ripe fruit as they ripen so they do not rot on the plant. Check for ripe fruit every other day.

For ultimate strawberry production and growth try regularly …

Plants to attract butterflies

4 Plants to attract butterflies to your garden

Here are five of the best types of plants that will attract butterflies to your garden.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleja  Davidii)

The butterfly bush is by far the most popular shrub to attract butterflies to your garden and will often be covered in butterflies and moths all summer long.  This is an easy to care for shrub and requires little maintenance making it ideal for every garden.

Even when the bush becomes overgrown you can cut it back in winter or early spring and you can cut it back as much as you wish. When it blooms it will be covered in lovely blue, purple and white flowers which will give off lovely scents.

Overview:

Growing Location: Butterfly bush will grown well in most soils but its more suited to locations that get full sunlight with well drained soil.

Butterfly bush can grow quite large if left often up to several feet hight and wide.

Star rating: This gets a five star rating from us.

Phlox

Phlox boasts both beautiful coloured flowers with captivating scents add that to the fact they are relatively easy to grow makes them  a popular plant for many gardeners. Phlox …

Plants to attract Moths

Plants to attract Moths

Moths tend to be overlooked when you think about garden wildlife with butterflies, bees and other insects topping the list. As the moth numbers decrease it has a negative affect not only on their species but also on the plants that they normally pollinate and the animals that rely on them as food.

Important to increase the moth numbers

By choosing certain flowers you can attract both moths and butterflies to visit your garden. Moths need nectar to refuel them and give them the energy they need to fly. By carefully selecting the right flowers that are high in nectar you will begin to see more wildlife around your garden including moths, butterflies and bees.

On this page we are going to look at the types of flowers that attract moths.

  • Aubretia
  • Bluebell
  • Clover
  • Dandelion
  • Pansy
  • Primrose

Flowers producing nectar for late summer.

  • Marigold
  • Ice Plant
  • Knapweed
  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Thyme
  • Ivy

The trick to increasing the amount of wild life to your back garden is to ensure you are attracting them with the correct plants, flowers and surroundings. In the case of attracting moths your aim is to be increasing the amount of night-scented flowers.

Moths Also love privet, hawthorn and blackthorn hedging together with a …

Growing Extra Tall Sunflowers

GROWING EXTRA TALL SUNFLOWERS

When it comes to sunflowers everyone wants to grow the tallest they possibly can, it has become a fascination for some gardeners. Extra tall varieties include the mammoth American giant hybrid and the skyscraper. The world record for the tallest sunflower is 25ft 5 ½ inches and the largest flower head 32 ¼ inches diameter. The most flowers recorded on a single plant was 837.

Giant sunflowers are grown from seed and can be started indoors or sown directly into the garden. The spacing of the plants should be 2-3 feet apart and if you want to grow them as large as possible go for the three feet. Sunflowers love full sunshine and rich soil, the richer the better. Soil should also be well drained.

To plant dig a hole two to three feet deep and fill with layers of compost, garden soil and manure. This helps promote maximum growth of your sunflower.

Fertiliser is the most important ingredient for the growth of extra tall sunflowers and should have a high nitrogen formula. They also need a regular supply of water and you should not let the soil dry out.

As …